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US Mideast envoy meets Israeli official before VP visit

US Mideast envoy meets Israeli official before VP visit
Meeting comes in advance of scheduled visit to region by US Vice President Mike Pence

By Said Ammouri

JERUSALEM (AA) - U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt on Friday met with Yoav Mordechai, Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), with whom he discussed "security and economic issues".

"We discussed Israeli security and Palestinian economic issues," Greenblatt tweeted shortly after the meeting.

Greenblatt arrived in Israel on Thursday to meet with Israeli officials and representatives of the so-called Middle East Quartet including the U.S., UN, EU and Russia.

He has not held any meetings with Palestinian officials.

Greenblatt's visit is also intended to pave the way for a scheduled visit to Israel by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 21.

Pence's upcoming visit to Israel comes as part of a wider regional tour that will also take him to Egypt and Jordan.

The Palestinian government suspended all contact with the Trump administration after the U.S. president's Dec. 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital -- a move that drew condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world.

"There are no plans to meet with Greenblatt," a senior Palestinian official told Anadolu Agency last month, speaking anonymously due to the issue's sensitivity.

source: News Feed
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